SGA Election Hearing Inconclusive

The Senate Room of the Student Union Building was packed at 9 p.m., nearly every seat occupied by interested students and members of the Student Government Association. The hearing, however, ended at near 11 p.m. with no opinion rendered by the commission.

The following documents were filed with the Election Commission and given to the Hub by an anonymous source close to S.G.A. They are in Adobe .pdf file format.

Raiders’ Voice v. Raiders United: Cotton, Dickenson, & Berger

A Facebook message sent to Jose Barraza regarding unsolicited phone calls.

A Facebook message sent to Jose Barraza regarding unsolicited phone calls.

The “Raiders’ Voice” campaign was selected to present first. Its claims against the “Raiders United” team include

d voting solicitation, spamming, and voting rewards. “Raiders’ Voice” leader Jose Barraza described such things as boxes of candy with “Raiders United” insignia on them, sending out mass-emails and postings on social media to groups of people the candidates were not in direct contact with, and voting harrassment, such as phonecalls and other types of repeated communication.

“Giving out candy with candidates’ names and pictures on them is a clear violation,” Barraza repeated. “A clear violation.”

See the memorandum filed by Raiders’ Voice representative Jose Barraza.

Raiders United’s opening statements included attempts to dismiss Barraza’s claims by stating they weren’t what were originally filed against. Raiders United campaign manager Peter Brady explained a phone call claimed to be harrassing by explaining the phone call in question was to a fraternity brother.

Raiders United further went on to counter with using definitions in the election code, but admitted to Raiders United keeping candy out on tables to be given out to or picked up by passersby and potential voters.

Candidate Jill Berger acknowledged the campaign was passing out candy with the campaign’s name and logo on them, but defended their actions by saying they were being passed out indiscriminately whether the recipients had voted or not, or what they voted for. She claimed the entire campaign was based on marketing tactics, such as “guerilla marketing.”

One of Raiders United’s arguments was Barraza neglecting to contact the campaign to express his grievance before filing a motion to the commission, something expressly dictated as required in the election code.

See Raiders United’s filed response to claims by Barraza.

Bridge the Gap: Stovall, Weeks, Craig, & Yates v. Raiders United: Cotton, Dickenson, & Berger

A Facebook message regarding an endorsement of Raiders United by Alpha Phi.

A Facebook message regarding an endorsement of Raiders United by Alpha Phi.

The Bridge the Gap campaign presented a slideshow to illustrate their proof to the election commission and to the rest of the viewers. With quotations from the election code and screenshots, the campaign’s spokesman, Daniel Yates, accused Raiders United of similar things as Barraza did.

Bridge the Gap’s arguments included such things as a mass e-mail to the Goin’ Band from Raiderland and the apartment complex University Fountains, as well as unsolicited postings to Facebook groups and invitations to vote. The campaign failed to use video from the Executive Debate to prove that Raiders United member Jill Berger had illegally used her current office in S.G.A. as a campaign platform.

Another point of evidence against Raiders United was a screenshot of External Vice-President elect Logan Dickenson offering to vote for students if they would provide their eRaider information to him.

Read Bridge the Gap’s memorandum and evidence.

Raiders United’s rebuttal included reminding Bridge the Gap of it neglecting to contact the Raiders United team before filing, as well as contesting Bridge the Gap’s definitions of “spamming.” Its defense relied on the “dirty hands doctrine,” which argues that Bridge the Gap was not acting in good faith and had committed similar or identical breaches of the Code as Raiders United had — they act with “dirty hands.”

When confronted about Dickenson asking for eRaider names and passwords, Raiders United had little to say except asking to not put the onus of that against the entire team.

Read Raiders United’s formal response to Bridge the Gap’s allegations.

The Election Commission’s hearing ended without any real closure for either party. The commission’s advisory opinion is expected within the week. Should a party not be satisfied with the rendered opinion, the student Supreme Court holds appellate jurisdiction and will be responsible for hearing any cases after the opinion is rendered.

About Anthony Hall
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